Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Walk Away From Your House!

Jim Cramer is telling folks to default on their mortgage and go rent.

"Well you just default on the mortgage. It makes huge economic sense. You go rent. Uh, you don’t want to lose your job, so you keep your car. Uh, you keep your credit cards so you can buy, and all that really happens is is that you made a bet and you lost, so don’t compound it by continuing to pay."

You know, it sounds silly. But that's exactly what a neighbor did.  Reminds me of the mid-90's here in Sacramento.

Reversal Tuesday

I threw cash at the market yesterday, and was feeling like a Wile E. Coyote genius up through part of today. Then the reversal happened. Of course, Wile E. Coyote is always humbled.

Month-end strength doesn't seem to be working this month. I think some of this is folks getting out ahead of August and September, especially considering the news hitting the wires. But we still have a few days to go.

America Home Mortgage blew up today, and more credit worries hit the market. I still believe that this is known. It's not a secret.

More importantly, the pre-season NFL games start this weekend! I'm not too fired up over pre-season, but for some strange reason I have been following the live-blogging of the Dolphins training camp. It's quite funny in that there is a lot of "less than positive" things going on if one is a Dolphins fan. From yesterday:

* RB Ronnie Brown is once again running tenatively. He also seems to be having trouble with the heat as he is off to the side, squatting on the ground with a towel over his head;

* Trent Green is running the first team. In a bad sign for the season, he was sacked by Matt Roth on the first play.

* John Beck is with the second team and his first pass was a deep incompletion.

* Now Cleo Lemon is running the first team. First two passes were incomplete out of bounds on out patterns to Chambers and Booker.

* The four QBs were a combined 1 for 7 in team drills with the only reception being a swing pass.

* Green just underthrew Chambers in 7-on-7 and was picked off by CB Travis Daniels. Green has been underwhelming so far in camp.

* Beck was picked off by Renaldo Hill off a tipped pass. Beck had thrown behind Chambers;

* Ted Ginn just ran his first reverse. Line penetration pushed him back and he gained 1 yard. But he did look fast;

Monday, July 30, 2007

Putting Cash to Work

Well, I looked at the oversold conditions plus the end of month pattern, and decided to buy today.  The plan was either to buy any gap down, or if we opened up then wait for a pullback after the first hour.   The latter happened, so I put on a large position of QQQQ on the pullback. 

I don't believe the gloom and doomers.  Inflation is mild.  Growth is strong.  And the real estate problems are mostly confined to a small percentage of the subprimes.  Yes, property values are down; however, folks are employed and paying their mortgages.

I do believe that this correction will last longer than the Feb-Mar correction (duration and maybe percentage).  So I'll keep an eye on the position especially as the monthly strength periods winds down.

As always, I could be wrong. 

Busy during the day at work, so blogging will be a little light.

And say, as a Dodgers fan I was hoping Barry Bonds would set the HR record BEFORE traveling to Los Angeles.  But it looks like there could be another Al Downing highlight reel coming.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Well, at least it's Friday

CNBC says "The market is stablizing" as the DOW is down 170, SP500 is down 20, and the Naz down 36.  Uh, okay.  And I don't know what that White House Chat stuff was this morning.  B-O-R-I-N-G.

Internals ugly.  Decliners leading at 70%.  Down volume at 81%.  New lows trouncing new highs.

My big cash position is helping here, now trying to ascertain buy points.  Guessing, I'd say we get our first bounce for the month-end period.  I'm debating on trying some longs.  There's the temptation to guess the bounce here.  Yet, August and September are bearing down on us and historically those months are the weakest of the year.

Normally, I'd just wait for a bounce and see what happens on a retest of the lows (if it happens).   But we really haven't set a low yet.

It's friday, but things are hoppin' at the Fun Factory.  Going to be a busy day.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Da Bears

I wonder if Coach Ditka is long or short this market?

You wonder if this will be the time that the bears are able to take control (for more than a few days) and scare off the bulls for awhile? 

My guess is that we are going to see a 6-8 week correction here that will test the hearts and souls of the bulls.   But don't rule out the month-end action here as 401(k) adds hit the market over the next week.

Bill Cara's Market Thoughts: Traders are nervous, and it is not about earnings as much as it is concern for the US credit market, and the likelihood that widespread failures will lead to a rise in interest rates reflective not of an expanding economy or inflation or speculation, but simply elevated risk of capital markets failure.

Closing Comments from The Fly:  Don't be tricked by the jerk off rally, at the end of the day. It's an old trick, sort of like three card Monte.

The Close from DayShark:  I covered some QQQQ shorts today as I have a suspicion that we are looking at a nice rally. I suspect some good news is on deck which will put sub prime/credit issues on the back burner at least in the short term.

Barry Ritholtz whippin' out the metaphor on The Credit Window is now Closed.

Bonddad asks, What the Hell Happened Today?

In the Mouth of the Whale

An ugly day in the market!  With an hour to go the Nasdaq was down 75 points and I wondered if the last-hour players would step in and drive this thing into the ground.  Instead, we got some buying.  Interesting.  We've come down very fast.  Much like the last pullback in Feb-March.  Seems very "countertrend" rather than a change in the primary bull trend.

I felt good having sold all of my mo-mo stocks wednesday morning on the bounce.  Those stocks were punished again today, and I was even tempted to leg back in to some.  But patience is a friend of mine...

Been swamped at the day job this week

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Joey Harrington Era (Atlanta version)

  • The Joey Harrington eras come and go faster than B-rated movies at the box office. The Joey Harrington matinee opens in Atlanta. Thanks to Adam Warner for the man-on-the-sidelines coverage.
  • Fantasy Football strategy with Joey in Hotlanta? Opposing defenses will get more interceptions. (Muckdog shows up at the fantasy draft and asks, "Screw the tight end. Can I have more than one starting defense in my line-up?")
  • Sports book strategy with Joey in Hotlanta? The Falcons won't score many points. But don't bet against Joey when the Falcons are playing Detroit or Miami. He gets fired up for revenge matches. Last year playing for the Dolphins, he threw 3 touchdowns in the Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit.
  • That's it.  An entire blog entry devoted to one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game.  History is still trying to decide just exactly, "What game?"

The Hamptons Effect

  • First, I sold my few remaining mo-mo stocks on the bounce this morning.  Just booked the gains (and a few losses) and moving to cash for now.  Most of them broke down yesterday.  After the bounce this morning, most continued to break down.  Despite what the index showed today, there was more fugly action out there in the small caps and mo-mo names.  Overall, new lows outpaced new highs.  Decliners lead advancers.  Etc. 
  • Now all this being said, we are heading towards the end of July and early August, which should see 401(k) adds automatically thrown at stocks.  And Norm Fosback's seasonal method would have us getting long on at the close of friday July 27th, and riding it through the close on Aug 7th.
  • Afterhours looks good with Apple's earnings.  We'll see if the bulls can take the momentum past the opening hour.
  • I was searching The Google for the "worst month of the year for stocks" and found this from CNN's money site:

For the last 18 years, August has been the worst month of the year for the S&P 500, and the second worst month for the Dow industrials and the Nasdaq composite, according to the Stock Trader's Almanac.

Go back further and it's not much better: since 1950, August has been the third worst month of the year for both the Dow and S&P 500 and September has been the worst. That's been true for the Nasdaq as well, since its inception in 1971, according to the Almanac.

The third quarter is typically the worst because of what might be called "the Hamptons effect," meaning, hey, it's summer, and bulls would rather be on the beach than making big changes to their portfolios. Summertime also often is a time many companies reassess the earnings outlook for the rest of the year, which also can pressure stocks.


  • There is no guarantee that history will repeat.  The column above was from July 2006.  And despite the gloomy outlook at the time, the market has been what *almost* looks like a straight ramp up since.
  • MSN says September is the worst month for stocks.
  • This one from Reuters says watch out for September and October.
  • The Sacramento Bee (via Sign On San Diego) says it's September.
  • Investopedia says September, maybe because of folks back from vacation selling stocks and that mutual fund managers are selling losers in the portfolio before the end of the fiscal year end.
  • For England's FTSE 100?  September.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Fugly is as Fugly Does

  • Yes, indeed. That did get fugly into the close today.  Things that didn't matter last week (subprimes) suddenly are the culprit.  I guess nobody knew about the subprimes last week?  Or is this just the historical seasonal swoon playing out?  Last half of July tends to be weak.  August and September tend to be weak.  Etc.  Just last week we made new highs in the market! 
  • No big deal here in Muckland as I'm conservatively positioned.  Still have the cash.  The low-beta stocks actually got hammered a bit today.  And I'm mostly out of the mo-mo stocks, but the ones I have did get spanked.
  • Bill Gross said today that he is looking for a 5-10% correction in stocks.  Gee, the SP500 is already down 3%.  Heck, Bill!  It means the correction is almost over if your lower limit (5%) is the end target!  Thanks, buddy.  You might have said something about this last week when the SP500 set a new high.  Are you still looking for DOW 5000?
  • Look, calling market turns is about as easy as predicting which NBA games are fixed.  Er, check that.  It's about as easy... well, nevermind.  It's not easy.  Nobody but Tim Donaghy has a crystal ball that works.  (Okay, working too hard to get that NBA crooked official joke in here.)
  • No need to panic today.  The market has had a tremendous run from the bottom in Sept 2002 and there are tons of gains out there.  Even if we're 3% off the top, we're a whole bunch % from the bottom in Sept 2002!
  • Muck note:  Debating on getting DirecTV.  Your thoughts?  Anyone have the HD and HD-DVR with DirecTV?

Mid-day Thoughts (and Lindsay Lohan)

  • The market rebounding as I write. The internals aren't so pretty, so you wonder if this thing will close ugly.  That'd be my mid-day guess.  The reaction to earnings this season is a bit different than last quarter, eh? 
  • In the "Age of Love" entry, I mentioned the 21-year old Megan would be a fun drunk.  But no way as fun as Lindsay Lohan!  Arrested again!  She was picked up for DUI!  With cocaine in the car!  Of course, I'm making light of a serious problem here.  Rehab won't help if all you want to do is party like it's 1999.  Picked up with a blood alcohol level at a cruising level of .13.
  • Police spokeswoman Calisse Lindsey said police got a call at 1:34 a.m. PT that a vehicle was chasing another vehicle in a parking lot in Santa Monica. When officers arrived, they found Lohan driving the vehicle that was chasing the other, the spokeswoman said.
  • Dumb drunk driving, too.  "Hey, lets get hammered and do some crazy-ass driving!"  Who was she chasing, anyways?  And why?  That's not in the story, but maybe that is the story.  Hmm.
  • Lindsay was was charged with two counts of driving under the influence, possession of cocaine, bringing a controlled substance into a jail facility, and driving on a suspended license, according to Lindsey.
  • Ironically, Lindsay's new film "I Know Who Killed Me" will be released on Friday.  Raise your hand if you know the answer to that one.  I think it's obvious.
  • The DUI pic of Lohan ain't pretty. Check out the mug shot:

Age of Love

  • Yes, the stock market is crashing this morning.  More on that later.  Lets see if the dipsters are still around or if the summer swoon is on.  We had the down day friday.  Yesterday was a victory for the bears as the market couldn't sustain the mid-day highs.  And today we're lower big early.  Be careful.
  • I've missed the Age of Love this summer TV season.  Another match-making "reality" show where 30-year old mark has to choose between a 20-something or 40-something.  I've missed the show up until last night's 2-hours.  I agree with his decision to dump the deceiving and manipulative Jayanna.  Blech.  She's a mortgage loan officer.  I wonder if she still is?
  • Who is left and what should he do?  I think it depends on what Mark is looking for.  If I were a 30-year old man, here's how I would play it. (And I'm not 30 anymore.  I'm 43).
  • For a few weekends of drunk sex and trips to amusement parks, I'd pick the 21-year old Megan.  It'd get old quick, but it'd make for some great memories.  You could still get away with giving her a stuffed animal as a gift.  LOL.  She's too young for anything serious.  She's still in college and learning about who she is.  The benefit of hanging out with her for a few weekends is that you might also meet some of her young friends, who you could hook up with later.
  • For the hot passionate affair that lasts for a year or two, you have to hook up with one of the 40+ woman.  He'd benefit from the experience they bring to the table.  I'd pick Jen here.  She likes younger guys according to her bio.  So she'd be revved up.  She's a logical, analytical type. level-headed, and go with the flow type (from the few minutes I saw on TV), so that'd be my preference over the other one.  Plus, she works for the Lakers so there's the possibility of game tickets here!
  • (The other 40+ woman,  Maria?  She's also probably make for great sex.  But she seems the type who is always talking about how things make her feel.  She reminds me of an ex-girlfriend.  She drove me nuts.  The sex was great, but after a few months of always talking about how things made her feel, I had to get out.  That "put your hand on my heart and look in my eyes" stuff has its place, but not 24x7 week in and week out.  You want to invite the guys over to drink beer and watch football?  Better watch out, sunday is probably "her day" and you're affecting her feelings.  If you read her bio, did you see how she says that she can be aggressive in relationships?  Yeah, psycho.  No thanks.  Been there.  Done that.  So the alarm bells were ringing in my head watching her interact with people last night.)
  • If Mark wants to get married, he has to go for Amanda.  She's 27, so they are close in age and experience.  I haven't seen enough to see if they have chemistry, but on paper she's the winner here.  She went into his tent last night, because she didn't have the chance to talk with him.  I think that was a smart play by her. 

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday Stuff

  • Spent over an hour this morning in the dentist chair.  One cavity plus two fillings were cracked.   Numbness finally wore off.   Bleh.  The worse part was that I needed a second shot of Novocain.  This became readily apparent a few seconds into the drilling.  YEOWCH.
  • How do you feel about the way the market closed today?  I think it was a little lackluster especially because we were up more earlier.  Especially on the Nasdaq.  And afterhours, Texas Instruments reported in-line and the stock is down over 3% as I type.  If one is pedal to the metal in volatile stocks, it looks as if things are getting interesting. 
  • I'll sound like a broken record.  Maybe I have too much company for this to play out.  But, I do think that the seasonal pattern of weakness in the summer is going to play out.
  • Thanks to Kim for leaving a voice message and a shout out in the upper right hand corner of the blog!  Got a mic?  Leave a message!
  • Nothing gets the ire of the "left wing" Democrat more than companies making profits.  Especially, if that company is HalliburtonOil giant Halliburton Co. said Monday that strong international demand and a near billion-dollar gain from the separation of KBR helped more than double second-quarter profit and grow revenue by 20%.
  • When you're a software company with a small market share, hackers may decided to leave you alone and go after bigger fish.  But what if your company has been growing like crazy?  Like... AppleThe iPhone and Apple Inc.'s desktop computers may be vulnerable to hackers due to a flaw in their Web browser, according to a security firm, which said it found a way to hack into the iPhone.
  • Teacher punishes girls with pond squats.
  • You know, I'm thinking about outsourcing my lawn care now that I read about Bikini-clad women mow lawns in Memphis
  • What's up with Larry Kudlow and the pinstripes?  C'mon, KLo.
  • Are you ready for some football?  It's closing in.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Ah, the Bay City Rollers (not pictured). 

I enabled the voicemail recorder widget in the upper righthand corner of the blog.  Click on the "Muckdog - Hello!" message to listen to my message.  If you'd like to leave a voice message, just click the "Leave me a message" button on the recorder.  You'll need a microphone.  Remember to say who you are and leave your blog or website URL.  Market thoughts.  Testimonials.  Etc... 

The SP500 was down 1.2% for the week, and the headlines are blaming "subprime woes."  On thursday, the market hit all-time highs.  Were subprimes not a concern on Thursday?  This always seems a bit silly to me.   We're always searching for a news blurb to explain what has happened in retrospect.  How about "Market rallies to new highs, investors book profits after Google's and Cat's earnings misses and go camping for the weekend.

Me?  Broken record.  I think we're going to have a summer correction this year, and I'm positioned accordingly.

The Fly with a weekend update for all you f'tards.  LOL.

From Controlled Greed, Is the hybrid craze just a fad?  Interesting to note that while the Prius is popular, many other hybrids aren't selling well.  And Honda is discontinuing the Accord hybrid.  Gas prices, shmass prices.

Calgirlfinance wonders if she and her husband should ratchet down their 401(k) savings in order to buy a house.  Go leave her your thoughts.  My thoughts are yes, save and get the house.  Life is not a dress rehearsal and you have to live your life along the way.  Of course, I wouldn't buy "the biggest house you can afford" and struggle financially.  Buy what you can afford that leaves some extra cash each month so that you can save and do other things. 

Larry Kudlow writes about what a pullout from Iraq might mean to the market.

Paul Kedrosky looks at retail investors.

Gotta  hop.  Barbecue.  Time to break out the George Foreman.  Today's menu consists of traditional summer fare.  Burgers and dogs for the carnivores, and veggie burgers for the herbivores.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Thoughts

  • Paris Hilton must've texted Lindsay Lohan about her wonderful experiences behind bars. Lindsay turns herself in.    A week after leaving a 45-day rehab program, actress Lindsay Lohan has turned herself in to police to face charges of drunken driving in connection with a May car crash. 
  • Okay, so the profit takers are trading under the influence today on The Google's and The Big Cat's earnings misses.  There are plenty of reasons to book gains here.  We've had a tremendous run since September 2002.  What is this, the 2nd longest bull market in history?  We've also had an impressive ramp since last summer with barely a blip on the charts.  We're also approaching a historically weak period in the market.  Nothing wrong with taking profits. 
  • Even if the bull market takes a pause for a few months, it doesn't mean that it's over.  I'd imagine public sentiment would be shaken.   Combine a 10% market pullback with the real estate market, Iraq, Iran, "global warming," oil prices, and national hatred for George Bush?  We're all a gloomy bunch.
  • More on that.  Why are folks so gloomy?  There is a perception that the economy sucks at 4.5% unemployment, wages growing, net worth at highest levels ever, and second longest bull market ever with the SP500 closing at an all-time high as of yesterday.  In 2004, John Kerry said while campaigning that the economy was the "worst since the great depression."  Really?  Is that what folks are still thinking?  Maybe folks are spending too much time over at DailyKos.  I'd hate to see sentiment if the SP500 were under 800 and unemployment over 8%!
  • Ooma launching FREE consumer phone service.  They charge no fees for domestic calls, and they make up the costs on volume.  Just kidding!   They sell a base unit for $399, and you must have a broadband internet connection.  They also sell smaller units called scouts, and plan on having pay-per features like specific ring tones per callers.  My fear would be shelling out the $399 and then having them go out of business in a year. 
  • You get the feeling the Republicans are going to get smoked in November 2008?  What about Democratic gains in Congress?  Could we (as investors) be looking at a dramatically different financial picture in January 2009?  Every Democrat I've hears is anxious to raise taxes.  And many of the Bush tax cuts are going to end in the next few years.
  • Did you hear that Al Gore's daughter picked up Al Gore's son in the Maserati Quattroporte?  Just another mode of transportation in the Gore family's "Green Fleet."   Specs?  DOHC 400 horsepower, V-8 under its hood, and sucking down the fuel with EPA numbers of 13 mpg city and 18 mph highway.  Noice.
  • Maybe Lindsay Lohan is setting herself up for the Comeback Actress of the Year award down the road.   "Drunk Chicks Gone Good" wouldn't make a hit pay-per view movie, but maybe it'd revive some careers and improve overall revenues.
  • Miami Dolphin's wide receiver Chris Chambers was also picked up for driving under the influence.  If you saw the Dolphins last year, you might think, in retrospect, that he was playing under the influence.  The Miami Herald article linked to introduces an interesting diversion on which matters more, the sobriety test or the breathalizer.  Hmm...  Lindsay, your thoughts?  Al?  Anyone?  Google?

Thursday, July 19, 2007


  • The market continues to play cat and mouse with DOW 14,000. But we finaly did it!  Just remember where you were at 4:00 pm EDT so you can tell your grandkids about the grand event.   "And of course, that was before Wall Street was under 20 feet of water so we had to drive our CO2 emitting SUVs to get there."
  • The bears can't seem to get any traction; but that's been the case for about a year now.  Someday, Yogi.  Someday.  I think the summer correction theory has merit, but since this market has been so strong I believe that sitting on the sidelines is the way to underperform.  One must have their action figures out in the battlefield. 
  • I remain with mostly a low beta portfolio, some cash, and still playing with the mo-mo stocks.  The cash on the sidelines has been the emotional thorn in the side as it just sits there while the market bolts to new highs.  Tempting to book some gains as options week ends.  My best guess (and that's all it is) would be that any summer weakness is in the on-deck circle.
  • Did some site tweaking last night to speed up the page loading.  Removed Twitter, Cramer and the top Digg posts.  Removed the poll.  Removed a bunch of chicklets. 
  • Added the voice recorder in the upper right.  So please leave me a voice message!  Say hi, tell me who you are, where you hail from, and whatever else is on your mind.  Plug your blog!  There is a 2-minute time limit on the voice messages; so, if you're planning on singing Led Zeppelin's "Communication Breakdown," you'll still have 29 seconds of singing to do when the recorder cuts you off.  Unless you speed up the tempo. 
  • From Minyanville's Buzz and Banter, I noticed today is national stick out your tongue day.  Remember to share with your coworkers and whoever else you may pass by during the day.  Today's trivia question at the 'ville is what creature's tongue is as long or longer than its own body?  I'd guess Gene Simmons.
  • Who likes chicklets, anyways?
  • Also, you may have noticed a lack of the search engine keyword mania in the last few.  Turns out that overusing keywords is a way to fall in the search engine ranking!
  • If people keep gaining weight at the current rate, fat will be the norm by 2015, with 75 percent of U.S. adults overweight and 41 percent obese, U.S. researchers predicted on Wednesday.
  • Busy here....
  • Sacramento's Light Rail system does not enforce ticket purchase.  It's basically on the honor system.  Oh, every once in a blue moon a Light Rail Cop will stagger on a train and check tickets.  Other than that, they seem to leave the staggering to the customers.  I took LR at lunch time and it was full of derelicts.  Homeless.  Drunks.  Druggies.  Gang bangers.  Etc.  So, I don't blame anyone if they refuse to leave the car at home to take THAT mess to work.  It stinks.  And it's not safe.  I don't blame any community in town that is opposed to adding a Light Rail station near their homes and schools.
  • Last time I was in Mexico (cue the John Taylor), I bought a couple of crates of Chicklets.  And some vanilla.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday Whoosh

  • There was a day, there was a time, where a bad reaction to an Intel and/or Yahoo would've been Armageddon Day on the stock market. Although we feigned that way for awhile, the market jigged back up to close well off the lows. 
  • Ben Bernanke also stepped out of the gate with some bizarre comment about how inflation is moderating and should head down; however, he was still worried about inflation.  Kind of a "Does the federal funds rate make my butt look fat?" comment.  I'm not sure there's a right response to the comment. 
  • Afterhours, earnings look okay today.  So we'll see what the reaction is tomorrow.  It's also options week, so you never know what kind of things are happening to prices.  You know all about the rumors of option pinning and the like.  For more, be sure to check out everything Adam Warner has to say. He's all over expiration week like Beckham on nutmeg.
  • The Democrats had a pajama party last night in an attempt to... uh, I'm not sure.  Something about ending the Iraq war vs. a Republican filibuster or some such noise.  Maybe it was to just dress up in pajamas.   I think everyone is focused on November 2008 at this point.  Everything is posturing and for show. 
  • Financial Sense wonders if Bin Laden is already dead?  Didn't the latest clip from him look dated?  I could've sworn Osama was wearing a Members Only jacket and carrying a Sony Walkman.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday Thoughts...

  • The market had an interesting run today, with the DOW briefly topping 14,000.  It's not where we've been but where we're going.  The sellling into the close looks a bit worrisome.  After the bell we had earnings from Intel and Yahoo that seem to be bothering investors in the afterhours.  Many are expecting a summertime correction.  Will this be the point we look back on in hindsight and say "it was obvious?"  Or is this just another brick in the wall of worry that will create a buying point for those on the sidelines waiting for a one-day wonder sale to get long?
  • I think we're due for a pullback.
  • Fundamentally, there doesn't seem to be much "wrong" with the economy at this point.  Jobs are good.  Wages growing.  Inflation is tame.   Interest rates aren't too high.
  • You know the real estate slump?  How bad is it really?  A house in my hood was foreclosed on, then the bank sold it the first day on the market.  The foreclosure was at a discount to what the house last sold for, but still....  I think this means that houses were overpriced in the blow off phase a couple of years ago.  There seems to be a lot of folks out there trying to snap up foreclosured properties.  That doesn't sound like "the bottom" of a housing downturn.  Wouldn't we see total lack of interest in homes? 
  • I went to Reno from friday through sunday.  Whenever I travel, I lose all contact with what's going on in the real world.   I don't know what's going on in the news, current events, pop star lives, or the like.  I think there's an important lesson to be learned from this.  When one is away, you are diverted from the day-to-day grind and instead are living life and enjoying your surroundings.  We don't do that enough.  No matter how much we're told to stop and smell the roses, we rarely do.  So... do it!
  • Yahoo.  Sheez.  Google kickin' their butts.
  • The past couple of days have been pretty hectic here at the Fun Factory.  This will probably continue into next week.  Big project implementation.  Losing a good programmer.  Unfortunately, all this is throwing some monkeys on my back for the time being.

Friday, July 13, 2007

TGIF (and Victoria Beckham!)

  • It'd be perfectly normal if the stock market took a light-volume breather after yesterday's ramp. Friday's also tend to move opposite the weekly trend as traders book profits ahead of the weekend.  Options week next week, and often times the pre-options week starts off weak and sets up a buy mid-week.  We definitely saw that this week. 
  • So David Beckham (not pictured) comes to play soccer here.  That means that Victoria Beckham (pictured) is here as well.  Posh Spice!  Who knew she had a reality show?  Victoria Beckham:  Coming to America.  Combine that with the Spice Girls reuniting?  Uh, spicey...
  • One of the signs the real estate "correction" isn't over?  Too much interest in real estate!  Real estate websites boom, despite market slump.  Just an anecdotal add here, but seems to me there is a huge interest by folks in buying foreclosures.  Listening to a local talk show in Sacramento, which is biased towards people who would be interested in real estate anyways, the callers were asking how and where to find out about foreclosures and how quickly they could flip the houses for gains.  Not exactly a sign of "the bottom" in housing, is it?
  • Hmm, weight loss stocks.  We're mid-summer and the "weight loss" season is winding down.  If you haven't taken off you're "winter coat" yet, time's running down on summer.  Pretty soon, folks will be able to hide their flab underneath a sweater, enjoy the holiday season, and not worry about it until the New Year's resolution.  No sell or buy recommendations here.  Just an observation. 
  • Are the Pussycat Dolls the new Spice Girls?  I think so.
  • Victoria Beckham (naked, nude, topless, dancing, singing, posh, spice, girls, smoking, bra, panties, blah blah blah).  Some Posh triviaBeckham became "Posh Spice," so called because of her regal and composed attitude, deadpan facial expressions and much elegant pointing towards the camera, and a penchant for short black Gucci dresses and high heels.
  • Heading to Reno for the weekend! 

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Stock Market Surges!

  • Those of you who had "DOW up 283" in your office pools today win!
  • The DOW, SP500 and Nasdaq all up big. A very impressive day for the bulls.  The reason?  Strong retail numbers?  M&A action?  Soaring oil prices?  Bush's speech on how well things are going in Iraq?
  • Don't laugh at the rising oil prices, because the leaders in the market have been oil stocks.  Financials have been lagging, but their ramping today (and make up over 20% of the SP500).  And the consumer seems alive and well, driving retail stocks.  Although, even though retailers are (in general) beating estimates, those estimates were from pessimistic outlooks.  Things are better than we thought.
  • Go wish Adam Warner happy birthday!  On this date in history, 100 AD., Roman dictator Julius Caesar was born.  So the big question is whether or not there will be a "Warner's Palace Casino" in Las Vegas 2000 years from now.  Or a "Little Warner's Pizza" chain. 
  • Barry Ritholtz with more thoughts on retail.
  • Evidence of a tight labor market in the intial jobless claims numbersFirst-time claims for jobless benefits fell last week to the lowest in almost two months, adding to evidence that the labor market is holding up going into the second half of the year. The figures suggest employers are holding on to workers as the rate of unemployment hovers close to its lowest in six years. Strength in the job market, with rising payrolls and income, will help sustain consumer spending even as fuel costs rise and home values decline, economists said.
  • In the "keeping secrets from the spouse and then revealing them later" department, calgirlfinance is back blogging and told her husband about the blog.
  • Public health announcement:   Listen to an iPod during a storm and you may get more than electrifying tunes. A Canadian jogger suffered wishbone-shaped chest and neck burns, ruptured eardrums and a broken jaw when lightning traveled through his music player's wires. 
  • Sony just cut their Playstation 3 price by $100, and rumors are another price cut is on the way.  Nintendo is eating Sony's lunch right now, and maybe Sony realizes that the Playstation 3 better start grabbing some market share soon.  I heard a Sony talking head on TV state that the PS3 may have longer shelf life because of the superior technology.  But technology is a moving target.  Nothing would stop Nintendo from making a new console in a few years with today's (2007) parts at a cheaper cost, too.
  • I had NBC's Singing Bee show on in the background the other day.  I didn't think it was that great.  Very slow.  People get buzzed for inserting an extra "well" or "and" in a song lyric.  I'm not sure if that kind of entertainment stays "fresh" for very long.  I also caught a bit of the the Fox singing show (whatever it's called), and it was okay but no reason to cancel your evening plans.  But I did hear The Bangles "Walk Like an Egyptian" twice in one week, and that hasn't happened since the 1980's.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dana Carvey Does Al Gore Impression

  • Dana Carvey does a Live Earth impression of Al Gore. Classic. . 
  • The market fighting to make gains after yesterday's selling.  Not doing much here.  The playbook says that pre-options week tend to be weak.  Maybe set up a buy for an options week ramp.  That's my working theory right now.
  • Well, I turned to the All-Star game in the 9th inning last night.  I guess that was the inning to watch, as the NL almost came all the way back.  At least they made it interesting. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

All-Star Tuesday

  • The market followed the pre-options week playbook today and sold off. The culprit may be some profit warnings and subprime concerns.  We already know about the latter, so lets file that under, "It's priced in, dude."  What about the profit warnings?  Well, one would think that Home Depot and Sears would be tells of consumers paying higher energy prices and their inability to squeeze anymore cash out of the home equity loans.  Same with Best Buy.  But then Cheesecake Factory came out with some good numbers.  So anyone can make their case on how the consumer is doing.  Keep watching the earnings and how investors react to the numbers.
  • Today is one of those days that you know you're stocks will eventually be carried out.  I was watching my mo-mo names and thinking, "Hey, these little buggers are holding up well in the selling action today."  Green on the screen when the market is in a selling mood?  Noice!  But... Should've been my cue to sell.  Off I went to work out over lunch, and by the closing bell my mo-mo names were not spared. 
  • OK, the market has been up something like 493 out of 494 days, so we're overdue for some selling, right?  I am still in the summer correction camp, FWIW.
  • I was about to write that I could care less about tonight's All-Star game.   But then, out of nowhere comes a friendly wager from a coworker.  He's a follow-the-crowd kind of guy, and taking the American League.  I'm the contrarian and taking the Catch the Falling Knife League, also known as the National League.
  • Tuesday's afterhours bloodbath:  Compuware.  Down almost 19% ah. 
  • So after folks drop $600 on the iPhone, Apple announces that they are planning on releasing a $300 version later this year.  LOL.  Just remember the iPod.  Seems like there was a new release on every day that ends in the letter "Y."
  • The folks at FinancialSense are bringing out the crystal ball today: SECOND QUARTER REBOUND,THIRD QUARTER RELAPSE, FOURTH QUARTER RATE CUT?  And they're using caps, so they're shouting it out to the world!
  • You know a the funny thing about lifting weights?  You work out for an hour doing sets and reps until fatigued.  The endorphins flow and you feel invincible.   Your muscles pump and rip as they're exercised.   You're shirt feels tighter when you leave the gym as you tell yourself,  "I'm such an f'n stud."  Then you go to pick up a can of soup, and it feels like it weighs 200 lbs.  I think the moral to that story is that if you can open up a can of soup after exercising, you're not using proper form.   Or, maybe the moral of the story is  that one should exercise with cans of soup.  Lifting weights is one thing, but is there any real-world application?  "Sure, he can press a boatload; just don't ask him to open a can of soup."

Monday, July 09, 2007

Status Quo Monday

  • The market continue to amaze me.  We're not up much but there seems to be no interest in selling.  Status quo.  Yet, the DOW is just a few ticks away from A NEW RECORD.  How quietly has that happened?  Towards the end of June (before the monthly and holiday strength), folks were getting a tad nervous as the SP500 slipped below 1500.  But here we are.  SP500 now ticking at 1531 as I type.
  • I continue to be in the same position with core holdings being low beta stuff with some cash.  But today have took some partial gains in the mo-mo high fliers (and letting the rest run), and also adding some names that have pulled back to support/moving averages on low volume and set up to run (hopefully).  
  • Jason at The Trend says the buy signal is still on.
  • The Trading Goddess adds a new look and feel to her blog.  Don't worry; the pics are still there...
  • Barry Ritholtz writes about CNBC.com placing their video segments behind a subscription feeThey want $14.95 per month to view their clips. Or, if you subscribe for the full year, its $169.95 -- an astounding savings of $9.45!  Barry wonders how many subs they'll sell.  I won't be buying one.  You?  I barely pay attention to CNBC when I have it on in the background.  I can't imagine paying for the website.
  • Ben Stein's view of the economy from abroad.  Ben writes about subprimes, the economy, etc.  Good read.  But he closes it with a dressing down of America's... dressing!  Finally, to change the subject, I'm impressed at how badly most Americans dress for work. Even at major banks and law firms I see Americans dressed like small children. How can a client have confidence in people who show up dressed as if they're going to a rock concert? If you were a client, who would you like -- the guy in jeans and sandals or the guy in a nicely tailored suit and well-chosen necktie?  I'd agree, Ben; however, I'm working from home today in gym shorts and a raggy T.  LOL.  I think it depends on the business, Ben.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sunday Night Live (and Maggie Q!)


  • Movie-fest weekend for the muckster.  Went and saw Knocked Up, and Live Free or Die Hard at the theater.  Watched The Departed and History of Violence via DVD.  All entertaining movies.  And today's picture is of Maggie Q, from Live Free or Die Hard. 
  • The monthly strength and holiday strength are behind us.  We're also heading into pre-options week.  Combine all of that stew with a hawkish inflation jawbonin' from Fed member Janet Yellen on friday?  Well, would anyone be surprised if traders took a pause this week? 
  • Murdoch's Wall Street Journal purchase not a done deal yetThe two sides have come to a basic agreement over how to safeguard the Journal's editorial independence in the event of a sale to the media mogul's News Corp but other issues like price are thought to need more discussion.
  • Live Earth Johannesburg blames climate change for poor turnout. Officials at Live Earth Johannesburg have blamed the effects of climate change for poor audience attendance at Saturday's (07Jul07) South African event. Organiser John Langford believes extremely cold weather in the region - it snowed last week for the first time in a quarter of a century - kept people away from the concert.  Any questions from the reading audience?  Al Gore said "The debate is over."  That was a clue that the debate certainly wasn't over.  Let the science continue and lets not stifle anyone who is bold enough to ask questions.
  • Kim's podcast is up featuring an interview with Robert Kiyosaki.
  • If you're looking for some "cup runneth over" chat on the economy, you know you can count on Larry Kudlow.   You know he's pretty excited about the employment and wage numbers, but there's a tidbit there I liked:  (Note: If you graduated from college your jobless rate is 2.0 percent. If you failed to graduate from high school your rate is a much higher 6.7 percent. Message: Stay in school.)  Agree, Larry.  And I added the bold.  Very important me thinks.
  • And a little trivia on Maggie Q (naked, nude, topless, dancing, karate, smoking, bikini, bra, panties, roller derby).  Maggie Q was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to a Polish and Irish-American father and Vietnamese mother who met while her father was stationed in Vietnam. Maggie is the youngest of 5 children.  Her full name?  Maggie Denise Quigley.  You've also recently seen her in Mission Impossible III.  I wonder how that meeting in Vietnam between mom and dad went, eh?

Stock Prices vs. Economic Reports

Articles like this make me wonder, "How much of this is already priced into stocks?" Is there any new information in there that would send stocks higher? It seems like more of a look in the rear-view mirror, and stocks have risen because the market is a discounting mechanism for the future. That is, stock prices reflect where the economy is headed.

It is said that there is no working crystal ball on Wall Street. Maybe stocks are that working crystal ball.

Stocks Rise on Strong Economic Reports

Positive economic news and a spate of takeovers helped propel stocks higher last week.

U.S. manufacturing and service industries grew in June at the fastest pace in 14 months, the Institute for Supply Management said. Employers added 132,000 workers last month and the unemployment rate held close to a six-year low, the Labor Department said.

The reports provided further evidence that a strengthening economy would sustain corporate profit growth. "There's economic reinvestment, and capital spending seems like it's showing a pulse -- that's a symptom of the economy's resilience," said Lawrence Creatura at Clover Capital Management in Rochester, N.Y. "Deals will still happen and that's good news for investors."
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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Metallica Plays Live Earth

I'm working around the house with the news on. A clip comes on showing Metallica playing live at Live Earth.

Suddenly, I feel a strange desire to replace my incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents. Before I run to Home Depot, I go to the hard drive to find the Metallica song in MP3 format which I legally purchased.

I open the MP3 in some software that lets me play the music backwards.

There it is: Backwards masking! I think I heard "You must stop CO2 emissions. You must decrease your energy use. CAFE standards must be increased. You must purchase carbon offsets. George Bush is Satan. Post more pictures of Jessica Alba."

Of course, maybe one just hears what one wants to hear when the music spins backwards...

Live Earth and Global Warming

Somewhere on TV today, there are rock bands playing in the Live Earth concerts around the globe. This is the concert where rock bands unite to save the planet from the Silver Surfer. No, wait; that is the movie Fantastic Four. These concerts are to raise awareness that evil humans are threatening the planet by using energy. Much like the energy being used by the rock bands today performing their concerts, broadcasting their concerts, and by the fans traveling to the concerts and watching the concerts on TV. But the latter things are good use of energy, whereas when we travel to work, drop the kids off at school, or use the air conditioner, that is the evil use of energy. Kind of like the Force in Star Wars. There is good and bad. Al Gore and the rock stars have the important job of distinguishing between the two. I think. They seem to have concluded that whatever you do is bad; while whatever they do is good.

Remember when rock stars used to be about the music? They were anti-conformist and anti-establishment. When did the mantra of "sex, drugs and rock and roll" get replaced with "global warming and rock the vote?" It all seems a bit backwards to me.

I suppose I could give my view on global warming here. But instead, go to Google or Yahoo and search for all views. You may be surprised at what you find. Al Gore said "The debate is over." Quite an unscientific statement, don't you think? Check out all views and see if you agree.

Janet Yellen (I told you so!)

I told you that Fed Head Janet Yellen (not pictured) would lead the Federal Reserve jawboning campaign on the worries over inflation. Does this mean that we can just forget all about any rate cuts heading our way in the near future? Maybe the near future. The economy seems to be doing quite well with the unemployment rate at 4.5% and new jobs keeping pace with population growth. The labor market is tight and wages are growing, but we haven't yet seen the gonzo growth that would lead to actual Fed tightening. Remember in the late 90's and in early 2000 when jobs and wage growth were growing at a too-fast pace? We're not at that point yet. Oh, and yes that is Battlestar Galactica's Cylon Asian babe Grace Park (nude, naked, smoking, maxim, blah blah blah). Grace Park trivia? She holds a degree in psychology from the University of British Columbia and speaks English and Korean, along with some French and Cantonese. She is currently studying Spanish. Ooh, baby... Donde esta la biblioteca?

S.F. Fed president calls for bias toward fighting inflation

The nation's monetary policy should be biased toward fighting inflation, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Janet Yellen said Friday.

Her comments received a great deal of attention as the holiday week drew to a close on a strong jobs report in which unemployment remained 4.5 percent.

In the text of Yellen's speech, delivered via teleconference to those attending a conference in Singapore, she said the risk of rising inflation continues and her "best guess" is that the growth pace of real gross domestic product in the U.S. "will pick up a bit in 2007 to a rate just below potential."
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Friday, July 06, 2007

TGIF (and Anna Kournikova!)

  • It's friday, and it looks like Mr. Bear is going home with empty pockets.  No pic-a-nic basket for you this week, Mister! The market continued to do well in the "favorable" week of the month.  We had some good economic news on the jobs and wage front, though it may bring out the Fed jawboners about a heating economy and/or inflation.  Something to worry about after the weekend.
  • Lathering up with SPF 30 and baking in the sun poolside this weekend?  Need a Wall Street page turner?  These books demonstate ...the Street still rocking to greed, sex and drugs.  Ooh lah lah.  I may put down Alan Abelson's column for one of those!  Like the coming of age story in Megers & Acquisitions... He "like, dudes" his way through sex goddesses, mere babes, drugs, porno-video, Mexican pirates and half-billion-dollar deals that bear his name but fortunately not his input.
  • Popular financial advice you should not take.  The four things they list are to build up an emergency fund, buy the biggest house you can afford, get life insurance, and invest in growth.  I agree with all but the last item.  They have too high of a bond allocation for someone in their 20's.  IMHO!  But it's all a personal preference thing.  If you can't handle risk and are going to be emotional, then trade in and out at the wrong times - maybe they're right!
  • Adam Warner on Bollinger Bands... Must reading.  I spent some time doing similar studies with the BBands and actually developed a trading model on it that works... sometimes.  LOL.  Works best when combined with other things.  As most models. 
  • 401(k) plans often have limited fund choices.  Like the one the Fun Factory offers.  So when the powers that be make a fund switch, you're strong-armed into their group-think.  I received a notice this week that Fund A was being de-selected for some reason, and Fund B would be taking its place.  Fund A has been a great performer.  Fund B is so-so, underperforming the market in every time period back to the Jurassic era, with higher expenses.  WHAT?  Is someone handing out free crack?   Of course, we can stay with Fund A for existing investments but all new contributions go into the Crack Smoker Fund.
  • Cheesecake Factory was up .79% today; probably pricing in my visit tonight. Ya think?
  • Do you think that this looks like Larry the Cable Guy
  • Michelle has some questions about Al Gore's Live Earth Concert.  Knew she would...
  • Anna Kournikova was here in Sacramento yesterday playing tennis.  It was 118 degrees on the court.  Maybe hotter if you were near Anna.
  • Anna Kournikova (naked, nude, topless, tennis, racket, swimming, bikini, panties, smoking, kayaking).  TriviaA Texas Hold'em Poker starting-hand combination has been colloquially named after Anna Kournikova: Ace, King (AK), as it's said that it looks good, but hardly ever wins.  Also, She has a tattoo of a sun on her bottom.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Dancing Gore, Fruit, and Labor

  • The market seems to be having as much trouble waking up today as I am!
  • Strong reports in the labor market and rapid expansion in the services sector has Treasurys selling off a bit.  These are the kinds of reports that keep Fed member Janet Yellen awake at night worrying about inflationary pressures.  If you like Fed jawboning, todays reports should suit your fancy.  We'll hear more chatter about how unlikely it is that the Fed will lower rates anytime soon.  And if the economy is humming at current rates, why would they? 
  • Al Gore's kid arrestedThe son of global warming guru Al Gore was arrested early yesterday on suspicion of possessing marijuana and prescription drugs after deputies pulled him over for speeding - going 100 miles an hour in an energy-saving Toyota Prius, authorities said.   Timing a little off if he wanted to bunk with Paris Hilton.  Or maybe he is trying to get in on the "rehab is hot" craze.  Good advertisement for the Prius, because who knew the hybrid could go 100 mph!  Of course, how much conservation and global warming prevention can the Prius do at that speed anyways?
  • There are tons of one-liners for this, I'm sure.  I'll keep an eye out.
  • Speaking of Paris Hilton, shares of Hilton Hotels Corp soaring on takeover offer from Blackstone.
  • iPhone quit working after four hoursAt first I thought it was just a hiccup when the iPhone was working fine one minute, then wouldn’t turn on the next. I tried the prescribed reset (hold down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons at the same time for several seconds until the device restarts) with no luck. Black screen, period. But when I plugged it in the Apple logo appeared as if restarting. Then it vanished, the screen went black again, and a few seconds later the logo reappeared, as if restarting. Again. Then again. And again. Trouble in paradise. 
  • Dentist this morning.  Three teeth in a bear market.   Two have chipped fillings, and a third has a cavity.  Set up an appt in the future for the drillin' and fillin'.... Bleh.
  • Here's a shocker:  Kids rarely apply nutrition informationThe federal government will spend more than $1 billion this year on some healthy snacks and nutrition education - videos of dancing fruit and hundreds of hours of lively lessons about how great you will feel if you eat well.   But an Associated Press review of scientific studies examining 57 such programs found mostly failure. Just four showed any real success against the growing epidemic of childhood obesity.   Geez.  Videos of dancing fruit?  A cool billion, eh?   This is the kind of stuff that brings out the cold-heart fiscal conservative in me.  Eliminate the program.  If the government wants to spend a billion, why not on dancing strippers instead of fruit?  At least somebody would be enjoying that.  Well, maybe they already are spending cash on that.... LOL.
  • I'm taking a long lunch and getting a work out in.  I need to tap into some energy here. 

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

  • [megan-fox-3.jpg]It just can't be July 4th again already???  Market thoughts?  I think it gets interesting from here.  Is that a cliche or reality?  I believe the summer correction is very likely this year.  But that it won't be the end of the bull market.
  • Transformers movie reviewThe basic story is that of the good Autobots led by Optimus Prime who battle the evil Decepticons (led by Megaron) to save the Earth and ultimately (I guess) the universe. Battle began on the planet Cybertron for control of the Allspark, a mystical power cube that would grant unlimited power to whoever possessed it.  Hmm.  Sounds complicated.  But it does have Megan Fox, right?  This is a chance for me to insert the usual comment on Megan Fox (nude, naked, topless, smoking, dancing, stripping, panties, upskirt, up skirt, bra).  How can I pass THAT up?
  • If you've been overwhelmed or underwhelmed by reviews of the iPhone that seem to keep reporting the same things, try this one called Saying only new(-ish) things about the iPhone
  • Bill Cara with some (gloomy) market thoughtsI have said here before that when these deals (private equity) stop flowing, Hank Paulson and Prof. Bernanke will finally pull the plug on this over-priced market. The greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world will have been completed, and America will have sprouted its own form of oligarch.  I call it Paulson’s Pride.  Seems to me Bill has been gloomy for a very long time.  Just saying.
  • Takeru Kobayashi on the ropes in the 4th of July Coney Island hot dog eating contest?  He's losing as I type.
  • 7-11 teaming up with The Simpsons to make real-world Kwik-E-Marts?  I'll take an orange squishie!
  • EBAY taking on Craigslist in online classifiedsThe new service, called Kijiji, pits eBay, based in San Jose, Calif., against a company it partly owns: Craigslist, the San Francisco-based company that manages classified ad sites for 300 cities, which attract 12 million new ad listings each month. EBay bought a 25 percent stake in Craigslist in 2004.
  • iPhone hype: What's in Apple's future?  (I like his prediction for Apple in 25-26 years!  You gotta read it!)  I think the iPod and iPhone are all about making Apple a household brand, which would lead to more sales of notebooks and desktops.  Just thinking out loud...
  • Joey Chestnut beats Kobayashi.
  • Make it a good one.  We'll all be at work tomorrow, so keep it easy on the poolside beers!  Hey, does Kwik-E-Mart sell a beer squishie?  Hmm....

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Minimum Day!

  • The market has a minimum day today! I heard Mark Haines mention this morning that the day before exchange holidays are up 80% of the time.  Of course as I mentioned last, Norm Fosback has a seasonal investing methodology that would dictate that you be in the market the two trading days before exchange holidays.  Bingo this time!
  • Did you see Melissa Lee this morning on Squawk Box?  Maybe it was a little chilly on the floor today.  "The air conditioning is working!"  Just saying.  Sorry that I don't have a snap of here in that blue top she had on this morning!
  • Lewis "Scooter" Libby gets his prison term commuted, and the left is outraged!  Ever heard of Mark Rich, folks?  This is what Presidents do.  There may even be a full pardon coming.
  • Alyssa Milano is bleeding Dodgers blue on her blog.  What a baseball nut.  I saw a clip of her on The Best "Darn" Sports show recently, and the girl loves the game.  She says she has season tickets and goes to every other Dodgers game.  Wonder who she splits the tickets with?  And how did that come to be?
  • One-third of Americans abuse alcohol.  I don't know if that's startling or not.
  • You know Melissa Lee has a blog, right?  In today's entry, she blogs about Blackstone and LBO Boom:  Watch the Credit Market.  Excerpt:  As I write this, Blackstone  (BX) shares are up more than 1%, but still below $30 a share and below the offering price. And the grave dancers who have been predicting the LBO boom say: See? We're right! Investors don't want to bet on Steve Schwarzman anymore.
  • Got home late from Reno last night.  Yeesh.  One of these days I'm really going to have to think about getting some serious sleep.
  • Tax-managed funds outperform non-deductable IRAs.  Interesting.  Careful use of tax-managed funds can produce up to 9% better long-term returns for retirement than tradition tax-deferred investing, a new study shows.
  • 4th of July already.  Holy smokes.  It always seems like the summer flies by from this point.  The next thing on the agenda is the Fantasy Football drafts, right?
  • Melissa Lee naked, nude, topless, smoking, CNBC, headlights on....

Monday, July 02, 2007

Monday Pre-Holiday Market Fest

  • How was your weekend?  Any summer barbecues or picnics?  On today's picnic table is Adrianne Palicki.
  • Looks like the monthly and holiday play is working today.  Enjoy it!  The ISM number came in looking good and showing a pick-up in manufacturing.  Crude falling, too. 
  • Tomorrow's trading day is only half a day, as traders leave early to pick up some potato salad and watermelon for the 4th of July barbecues on wednesday.
  • I bought an HD DVD player yesterday.  I know you're asking me, "Muck, with all the poverty and lack of health care due to George Bush and the worst economy since the 1930's and not to mention the illegal and immoral war based on lies in Iraq, how can you justify buying an HD DVD player?"  Well, my TV's only unused connection was the HDMI port.  I connected my Nintendo Wii to the second of two composite video ports, and had to disconnect my old DVD player to do so.  I tried using the RCA ports for both the Wii and the old DVD, but the picture wasn't very good.  That gave me an excuse to head to Best Buy and buy the HD DVD player and an HDMI cable.  Back in business.  Nice picture, and nice job upconverting of older DVDs. 
  • HD DVD is 70% of the high-def market, compared to Sony's Blu-Ray clocking in at 30%.  More on the battle of the high-def DVD players here.  Hard to say which format will "win."  Ultimately, I think we'll be streaming high-def video over the web, so this could be a short-term battle.
  • The loud thud you just heard was the sound of New York restaurants dropping trans-fats from their menus.
  • If baseball on TV is your thing, more televised batting practice ought to make you happy.  When I was a kid, I loved going to Anaheim Stadium and Chavez Ravine (Angels and Dodgers, respectively) very early to see players arrive at the stadium, get autographs, and try to get a ball from batting practice.  Not sure I could watch it on TV, though!
  • Heading to Reno today.  It's work related.  REALLY!  Reno is a little over 2 hours away from here via car. 
  • Okay, lets try this one...  Adrianne Palicki (naked, nude, topless, smoking, stripping, dancing, Supernatural, Friday Night Lights).  Adrianne trivia?  She worked at Togo's as a sandwich maker when she first got to LA.